What Is the Maximum File Size that LabVIEW or InstrumentStudio Can Handle?

Updated Dec 15, 2020

Reported In

Software

  • LabVIEW Base
  • InstrumentStudio

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

I want to open a large file in LabVIEW using the File I/O VIs. What is the maximum file size that LabVIEW can open, read, and write?
I want to save a large file and log data with InstrumentStudio in a TDMS file or similar. What is the maximum file size that InstrumentStudio can handle or create?

Solution

For LabVIEW 8.0 and later:
LabVIEW 8.0 introduced a 64-bit datatype. With it, 64-bit integers have been used to define file size and offset values. The net result is that the maximum file size that can be manipulated using LabVIEW has been increased to approximately 16 exabytes (2^64 bytes).  The maximum file size is different depending on if you are using 32-bit or 64-bit LabVIEW. Please refer to the proper section below.
 
  • Using 32-bit LabVIEW:
    • On a 64-bit Windows operating system, LabVIEW can access up to 4 GB of virtual memory without modification.
    • On a 32-bit Windows operating system, LabVIEW can access up to 2 GB of virtual memory by default. However, this can be extended to 3 GB by changing the Boot Configuration Data store. More information on how to do this can be found in the Extending Virtual Memory Usage for 32-bit Windows LabVIEW Help document.
    • If a larger file size needs to be loaded in memory, it is recommended to use a binary or TDMS file format for best efficiency.
  • Using 64-bit LabVIEW:
    • LabVIEW 64-bit on a 64-bit OS supports as much RAM as the OS supports (theoretically, 16 exabytes). Currently, 64-bit Windows imposes a 16 TB limit on virtual memory. 
    • In general, maximum file sizes are limited by the file system of your operating system. The table below describes the limitations of some common file systems.
    • NTFS is the preferred file system because of its security features and large file and partition sizes.
File System    Maximum File Size    Maximum Hard Drive Partition Size    Example of Operating System
FAT16    2 GB    4 GB    DOS
FAT32    4 GB    32 GB    Windows 98
NTFS16 EB    16 EB    Windows XP and later

For LabVIEW 7.1 and earlier:
File sizes of approximately 2 GB (2^31 bytes) are the limitation of LabVIEW 7.1 and earlier because a signed 32-bit integer is used to define the file size and offset values. Also, one way around the 2 GB read limitation is to use the OpenG Libraries, which offer third-party VIs that will handle files larger than 2 GB.

For InstrumentStudio:

You have to use the table above as a reference. Since InstrumentStudio is available just in 64 bit, the values listed in the section Using 64-bit LabIEW also apply for this software.